Sunday, September 13

Bike Culture versus “The Force”

Andy, over on “Carbon Trace,” thinks of bike culture items on his rides and in connection with his advocacy, as shown here, here, and here. I LOVE to read his posts and they’re usually thought provoking. Myself, I rarely think of bike culture when I ride, and I’m really not a cycling policy wonk. In the interesting ride segments, I focus on the sights, sounds, and the traffic. Always the traffic. About the closest I come to philosophizing is to store away potential blog posts for later, and usually others chase the first ones away. Long commutes provide lots of blog material.

In my case, during uneventful cycling segments, movie scores & associated quotes run through my mind. Lately, "Star Wars" has been the favored ticket. Banked over into a turn, the Star Wars theme just seems right. “The Force is Strong in this one.” After crisply threading through traffic, I redo other lines from the movie – “Your father's light saber <bicycle>. This is the weapon of a Jedi Knight. Not as clumsy or random as a blaster <an automobile>; an elegant weapon for a more civilized age. For over a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights <cyclists> were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times... before the Empire.” I’m sure y’all can imagine other cornball combos. When I see cool aircraft around Alliance Airport, sometimes Star Wars is displaced by "Top Gun." On a wistful day, Italian accents and quotes from “Breaking Away” may surface. I become an Italian bum.

On the other hand, I DO think about bike culture when I drive to work. I keep an eye out for cyclists, forever hoping to sight a “vehicularis.” I wonder when the heck I’ll finally get to take Traffic 101. I wonder why roads look nasty from the Land Rover, but seem much less threatening on my bike. I look for bike parking and critique it. I inspect new bikes parked by the turnstile on the way in to the building.

If you see me doing a lot of posts about bike culture, you might not be off base to conclude I haven’t been riding enough lately. If I’m riding too much, you might see another post such as this one. Enough already, I'm going out on a ride and make like an Italian bum. Just tell me how he does 50mph using that small chainwheel...


Rantwick said...

I hear you about looking out for other cyclists and how they're doing their thing. Sadly, I've turned my two children into proper cycling nazis... they are harder on the cyclists we see than I am.

Doohickie said...

The last day I drove to work I actually saw a “vehicularis.” Not the best specimen; he could only manage to claim the right tire track. To some that's sign enough (although I prefer the left myself). As I drove by I lowered my window, slowed a bit, and gave him a thumbs up. (I know how alarming it can be to be yelled or honked at, so I figured thumbs up was best.)

cyclists were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times...

That made me laugh out loud! :D

Steve A said...

"A [cyclist's] strength flows from the Force." So says Yoda.

Doohickie, Doohickie, Doohickie, a "vehicularis." You must have been hanging out with my kids. Next thing you know, you'll be telling us all about fairies and Captain Hook!

Still, the thumbs up seems a positive gesture difficult to misunderstand so you get a gold star for the day.

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